About a week ago, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Maryanne Shiozawa, who just started a new podcast called, You’re Doing Great Mom.
Just as writers have their own process, so do mothers. And, if you’re anything like me, it’s not always linear or pleasant or easy. Sometimes, it’s surprising and beautiful. Other times, you feel like a crazy person who’s just keeping her head above water.
Case in point: Last night, after the fifth night of not sleeping with my husband away on a jiujitsu retreat, deep in single mother mode, my daughter woke up at 1:40, demanding that I SPOON HER. I said no. She then said she heard a buzzing in her room. I told her there were no bugs. She then said there were ghosts in her carpet. I reassured her there were no ghosts. Then she insisted I spoon her again. How could I not want to spoon her? Just spoon her already!
Up to my eyeballs in rage, I yelled at her to please go to bed, and then I shut my bedroom door. A whole lot of shouting and foot stomping and crying and attempting to negotiate ensued.
For like a really long time. And then it got quiet, and I fell back to very patchy, irritated, guilt-ridden sleep.
This morning, I woke up to find every light in the house on, the TV blaring and my almost five-year-old daughter passed out on the couch with a sleeve of saltines in one hand and orange peels in the other. This was not to be topped by the time she woke up before me and my husband one weekend, got some crackers and hummus for breakfast and ordered a $50 PPV fight. (Note to self: Stop buying crackers, and hide the damn remote!)
In a nutshell?
Parenthood. Keeps. Shit. Interesting.
On the podcast, we get super real about motherhood – am I a good mother? am I a bad mother? am I a schizophrenic mother, because one second, I am flooded with love and the next second, I literally lose my shit? – my initial plans not to have children and the surprising results of having a daughter who has rocked my world in the very best and most challenging ways.
Without her, I wouldn’t have written THE LONELY GIRLS. I wouldn’t have had the bravery to quit my jobs to show her that you really can follow your dreams. I wouldn’t have known the intricacies, the beauty, the uncertainty, the judgment, the forgiveness, the fragility and absolute hilarity of motherhood, and how it affects everything: your career, your relationships, your health, your life and especially your vagina.
I wouldn’t have known that you could love someone so much, but that love is drenched in worry and fear and instability and hope and more love and even more fear. I wouldn’t have known purity and innocence and how we threaten to taint that so easily, with our sharp looks and our even sharper words.
I wouldn’t have known that this generation is kind of afraid of their kids and that I straddle the line between fearing this little replica of me and wanting to know that she can’t get away with walking all over me either.
There’s a teeny, tiny chasm between love and respect and being a good person and a good parent and not drowning yourself in a whole bunch of wine and laughter to sort through all of this magical nonsense.
If you’re so inclined to hear a couple of ladies getting really real about everything – even Donald Trump, whom my husband labels as THE HUMAN TURKEY VAGINA – then tune in HERE.